Week 5 of the 2016 college football season features 62 games, two apiece on Thursday and Friday and a full state of 58 on Saturday.
Contests featuring an FBS school taking on an FCS institution are down to only three, the lowest of the year and just 5% of the week’s offering.
Byes drop from the whopping 17 in Week 4 to only 7 this week, meaning 95% of the FBS programs are in action.
The last conference to kick-off league play in 2016, the MAC, features its first five league games this weekend. The official start is slated for Saturday at 2:30pm EST when Ohio University travels across the state to play rival Miami (Ohio) in Oxford.
Ranked vs. ranked contests match last weeks’ total of four. The Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC, and ACC all have two ranked teams clashing, meaning the races in those Power leagues will be clearer by the time sun comes up on Sunday.
Three of the four blockbuster games feature Top Ten teams squaring off, don’t forget that the first—(7) Stanford at (10) Washington—is slated for Friday night at 9pm EST on ESPN.
Following is a grand sweep across the landscape that is Week 5. As always, the facts are unique to this week and are limited to FBS vs. FBS action.
OFF THIS WEEK (7)
- Arkansas State
- Georgia Southern
- Mississippi State
- Virginia Tech
RANKED vs. RANKED (4)
- (7) Stanford at (10) Washington
- (11) Tennessee at (25) Georgia
- (8) Wisconsin at (4) Michigan
- (3) Louisville at (5) Clemson
FIRST-EVER MEETINGS (3)
- Marshall at Pittsburgh
- Toledo at BYU
- Tulane at UMass
LONGEST SERIES OF THE WEEK
NC State and Wake Forest meet this Saturday afternoon for the 110th time in history. The series dates back to 1895 and the two have met every year since 1910. NC State has a dominating 65-38-6 lead all-time, but has split the last 10 with Wake.
OLDEST SERIES OF THE WEEK
Duke and Virginia first squared off 126-years ago in 1890. The first two games were played in Richmond, Va., just 29 years after the city was named the capital of the of the Confederate States of America. Virginia leads the all-time series 34-33, but has only beaten Duke twice in its last eight tries.
REUNITED (and it feels so good)
- LSU and Missouri play for the first time since 1978.
STREAKS OF THE WEEK
5: Nevada has won 5 straight over Hawaii.
7: (17) Michigan State has won 7 straight over Indiana and Northern Illinois has won 7 straight over Ball State.
9: Texas Tech has won 9 straight over Kansas.
12: (23) Florida has won 12 straight at Vanderbilt
MOST-LIKELY WEEK 5 WINNERS BASED ON HISTORY (FBS vs. FBS only):
American: UConn (1-0 all-time) vs. (6) Houston
ACC: (5) Clemson (2-0 all-time) vs. (3) Louisville
Big 12: Texas Tech (16-1 all-time and 5-0 in the last five) vs. Kansas
Big Ten: (2) Ohio State (2-0 all-time) vs. Rutgers
CUSA: Old Dominion (2-0 all-time) vs. Charlotte
MAC: Bowling Green (21-6 all-time and 4-1 in the last five) vs. Eastern Michigan
MWC: (24) Boise State (12-3 all-time and 4-1 in the last five) vs. Utah State
Pac-12: UCLA (23-14-2 all-time and 4-1 in last five) vs. Arizona
SEC: Auburn (9-0 all-time) vs. ULM
Sun Belt: Appalachian State (2-0 all-time) vs. Georgia State
HARDWARE UP FOR GRABS
The Bronze Boot – Wyoming at Colorado State – series started in 1899 – Colorado State leads 59-44-4 and has won three straight – referred to as “The Border War.”
The trophy, a bronzed jump boot worn by Colorado State alum and Vietnam veteran Jeff Romero, Sr., dates back to 1968. The two schools’ ROTC detachments meet at the Wyoming/Colorado border each year after the game with the game ball, the school hosting the next season’s game running the ball back to its stadium.
The Bronze Stalk Trophy – Northern Illinois at Ball State – series started in 1941 – Northern Illinois leads 21-20-2 and has won 14 of the last 17.
First awarded in 2008, the Bronze Stalk “depicts several cornstalks recognizing the Midwestern landscape surrounding DeKalb and Muncie.” It was designed by DeKalb sculptor Renee Bemis.
The Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy – Navy at Air Force – series started in 1960 – Air Force leads 28-20, the two have split the last six games.
Dating back to 1972, this is the first leg of the three-game series between Army, Air Force and Navy. The Falcons didn’t start playing football until 1956 and in the 13-years before the trophy only played Army and Navy a combined 10 times. The Commander-in-Chief was created to ensure that the three academies met annually.
With 19, Air Force owns the most trophies, Navy is second with 15 and Army is last with 6. Either the Falcons or Midshipmen have won the last 19 awards.
The Don Shula Trophy – Florida Atlantic at Florida International – series started in 2002 – Florida Atlantic leads 8-4 but has lost three of the last five – referred to as “The Shula Bowl.”
The Shula Bowl and Trophy kicked off in 2002, the first year the two schools, only 60-miles apart, met on the football field. FAU first fielded a football team in 2001, FIU followed in 2002.
The Governor’s Victory Bell – Minnesota at Penn State – series started in 1993 – Penn State leads 8-5, its loss last season was the first since 2004.
Founded by the governors of the states of Minnesota and Pennsylvania in 1993, this version of a victory bell was unveiled for the first-ever game between the two, on Sept. 4, 1993. It was also the inaugural Big Ten contest for Penn State.
The Old Brass Spittoon – (17) Michigan State at Indiana – series started in 1922 – Michigan State leads 45-15-2 and has won 15 of the last 17.
Awarded since 1950, legend has it that the Spittoon was originally purchased at a Lansing antique store by Michigan State grad Gene McDermott. Why did he buy it? Well, “in order to avoid a letdown in the game against Indiana just a week after knocking off rival Notre Dame.”
The Victory Cannon – Central Michigan and Western Michigan – series started in 1907 – Western Michigan leads 47-37-2 and has won four of the last five – known as the “Central-Western rivalry.”
An actual trophy as opposed to an actual weapon, this travelling prize honors the cannons that both schools traditionally discharge on game days. It was first awarded in 2008.
The game is also the first leg of the three-pronged Michigan MAC Trophy, awarded to the annual victor in the Central Michigan/Eastern Michigan/Western Michigan series.
Auburn has NEVER lost to a Sun Belt team
On the line in Auburn’s Saturday afternoon clash with Louisiana-Monroe is its 23-0 record vs. the current membership of the Sun Belt.
The Tigers are 1-0 all-time vs. Appalachian State and Georgia Southern, 2-0 vs. Idaho, 3-0 vs. Arkansas State and New Mexico State, 4-0 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette and 9-0 vs. Louisiana-Monroe.
Illinois hasn’t won at (15) Nebraska since 1924
The last time the Illini won a game in Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge was president and the first-ever Winter Olympics were held in the French Alps.
Illinois went 6-1-1 in 1924, just one year removed from a perfect 8-0 campaign that included a Big Ten title and a National Championship.
The Illini have dropped three straight at Nebraska since, in 1985, 2013 and 2014.
Kentucky has NEVER won at (1) Alabama
The Wildcats have faced the Crimson Tide on the gridiron since 1917 and never in the 39-game series have they managed a road win.
Kentucky is 2-36-1 all-time vs. Alabama, both wins occurring in Lexington (1922 and 1997). The tie, a 7-7 draw in 1939, took place in Birmingham.
LSU and Missouri play for the first time in the regular season
Not only is Saturday night’s clash between LSU and Missouri the first time they’ve ever met as SEC members, it’s the first time they’ve ever played in the regular season.
The only other meeting was the 1978 Liberty Bowl in Memphis, a game Missouri won 20-15.
Oklahoma State has dropped 8 straight to (22) Texas in Stillwater
The last time the Cowboys beat the Longhorns in Boone Pickens was 19-years ago in 1997. It’s also the only time they’ve ever pulled it off, owning a 1-8 record vs. Texas at home.
1997 was the second season of the then fledgling Big 12. Oklahoma State finished 8-4 while the Longhorns went 4-7, at the time their worst mark since 1988.
Purdue plays it’s first-ever game at Maryland
The Boilermakers’ Saturday afternoon date in College Park isn’t only their first game there, it’s the first time they’ve ever faced the Terrapins in the regular season and their first-ever Big Ten meeting.
Previously, the two schools clashed in the 2006 Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Maryland won 24-7.
West Virginia hasn’t beaten K-State since 1930
The Mountaineers have dropped five straight to the Wildcats, their only win all-time coming 86-years ago in Morgantown.
West Virginia was an independent in 1930, finishing 5-5 with additional wins over Duquesne, West Virginia Wesleyan, Washington & Lee and Georgetown. Kansas State went 5-3 in the then Big 6, beating Washburn, Missouri, Iowa State, Centre College and Nebraska.